Russia destroyed a satellite with a missile and space debris that created a threat to the International Space Station

The International Space Station (Photo: Reuters)
The International Space Station (Photo: Reuters)

U.S. authorities reported Monday that they were investigating a “Debris Generating Incident in Outer Space” after the astronauts of the International Space Station (ISS) be forced to prepare for a possible evacuation of the facility.

Space junk (also known as space debris) designates artificial objects deceased in space, mainly in the Earth’s orbit, that no longer serve a useful function.

Russia carried out an anti-satellite weapon test (ASAT): rare shows of force criticized by the space community because of the risk they create for crews in low Earth orbit.

“The US Space Command is aware of a debris-generating event in outer space. We are actively working to characterize the waste field and We will continue to ensure that all space nations have the necessary information to maneuver satellites in the event of an impact.”The agency said.

“We are also in the process of working with the Department of State and NASA on these reports and will provide an update in the near future,” it was highlighted.

In that line, The US accused Russia of blowing up a satellite with an Earth-launched missile and that the garbage generated by that explosion seriously affected the work of the astronauts on the ISS.

The German astronaut Matthias Maurer, one of those who was forced to prepare for a possible evacuation (Photo: REUTERS)
The German astronaut Matthias Maurer, one of those who was forced to prepare for a possible evacuation (Photo: REUTERS)

NASA has yet to comment, but its Russian counterpart, Roscomos, played down the incident.

“The object’s orbit, which forced the crew today to move towards the spacecraft in accordance with standard procedures, has moved away from the orbit of the ISS. The station is in the green zone”The agency tweeted.

“Friends, everything is regular with us! We continue to work according to schedule, ”tweeted Anton Shkaplerov, the current outpost commander.

Formerly NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer floated in their SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for safety, according to a report by Spaceflight now

SpaceX’s Endurance spacecraft arrived safely at the International Space Station on Thursday with three astronauts from the US space agency (NASA) and one from the European space agency (ESA) on board for a six-month science mission.

SpaceX's Endurance spacecraft arrived safely at the International Space Station on Thursday (NASA via AP)
SpaceX’s Endurance spacecraft arrived safely at the International Space Station on Thursday (NASA via AP)

At the same time, the Russian cosmonauts Shkaplerov, Pyotr Dubrov, and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei boarded a Soyuz spacecraft on the Russian segment, added the medium.

Both spaceships can be used as lifeboats to bring the crew to Earth in an emergency.

American space industry analyst Serata tweeted that the debris could have been caused by a missile test.

“An ASAT missile attack is now suspected. Orbital data from the Seradata SpaceTrak database had Cosmos 1408 (a former Soviet satellite) in a 487 x 461 km orbit, slightly higher than the ISS but not much, ”the company tweeted.

“ASAT’s attack on Cosmos 1408 would cause some debris to shoot up underneath it … threatening the International Space Station with a crossing cloud of debris.”

(With information from AFP)

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